8.7/10
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166 user 42 critic

Oz 

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0:31 | Trailer
A series chronicling the daily activities of an unusual prison facility and its criminal inhabitants.

Creator:

Tom Fontana
Reviews
Popularity
624 ( 24)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   … See all »
Top Rated TV #70 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 15 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ernie Hudson ...  Warden Leo Glynn 56 episodes, 1997-2003
J.K. Simmons ...  Vern Schillinger 56 episodes, 1997-2003
Lee Tergesen ...  Tobias Beecher 56 episodes, 1997-2003
Dean Winters ...  Ryan O'Reily 56 episodes, 1997-2003
George Morfogen George Morfogen ...  Bob Rebadow 56 episodes, 1997-2003
Terry Kinney ...  Tim McManus 55 episodes, 1997-2003
Rita Moreno ...  Sister Peter Marie Reimondo 55 episodes, 1997-2003
Harold Perrineau ...  Augustus Hill 55 episodes, 1997-2003
Eamonn Walker ...  Kareem Said 51 episodes, 1997-2003
Craig muMs Grant ...  Poet 49 episodes, 1997-2003
Luna Lauren Velez ...  Dr. Gloria Nathan 48 episodes, 1997-2003
Granville Adams ...  Zahir Arif 48 episodes, 1997-2003
Tom Mardirosian ...  Agamemnon Busmalis 47 episodes, 1998-2003
Kirk Acevedo ...  Miguel Alvarez 48 episodes, 1997-2003
BD Wong ...  Father Ray Mukada 46 episodes, 1997-2003
Chuck Zito ...  Chucky Pancamo 46 episodes, 1998-2003
Philip Scozzarella Philip Scozzarella ...  Officer Joseph Mineo / ... 46 episodes, 1997-2003
Scott William Winters ...  Cyril O'Reily 45 episodes, 1998-2003
Otto Sanchez ...  Chico Guerra 40 episodes, 1998-2003
Christopher Meloni ...  Chris Keller 38 episodes, 1998-2003
Robert Clohessy ...  Officer Sean Murphy 38 episodes, 1999-2003
R.E. Rodgers ...  James Robson 36 episodes, 1998-2003
Kristin Rohde Kristin Rohde ...  Officer Claire Howell 35 episodes, 1999-2003
Carl DiMaggio Carl DiMaggio ...  Officer Len Lopresti / ... 34 episodes, 1999-2003
Evan Seinfeld ...  Jaz Hoyt 33 episodes, 1998-2003
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ...  Simon Adebisi 32 episodes, 1997-2000
Timothy L. Brown Timothy L. Brown ...  Officer Jason Armstrong 32 episodes, 1997-2003
Zeljko Ivanek ...  Governor James Devlin 27 episodes, 1997-2003
Steven Wishnoff ...  Tony Masters 27 episodes, 1999-2003
David Zayas ...  Enrique Morales 26 episodes, 2000-2003
Sean Dugan ...  Timmy Kirk 26 episodes, 1998-2003
Anthony Chisholm ...  Burr Redding 23 episodes, 2001-2003
Edie Falco ...  Officer Diane Whittlesey 23 episodes, 1997-2000
J.D. Williams ...  Kenny Wangler / ... 23 episodes, 1997-2000
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Storyline

OZ chronicles the attempts of McManus (Terry Kinney) to keep control over the inmates of Em(erald) City as well as the drug trade and the violence. There have been many groups of inmates during the run of the show and not everybody makes it out alive. There's the gangstas (Adebisi, Wangler, Redding, Poet, Keene, Supreme Allah), Muslims (Said, Arif, Hamid Khan), Italians (Pancamo, Nappa, Schiebetta), bikers (Hoyt), Aryans (Schillinger, Robson, Mark Mack), Christians (Cloutier, Cudney), Latinos (Alvarez, Morales, Guerra, Hernandez), gays (Hanlon, Cramer) and a whole pile of others (the O'Riley brothers, Keller, Stanislovsky, etc.). And there's a great "everyman" character called Beecher who gives a good look at a normal man who made one tragic mistake. Besides the regular inmates, there's guest stars such as Method Man, Luke Perry, Master P, Treach, etc. and a bunch of prison staff doctors (Dr. Nathan), a nun/psychologist (Sister Peter Marie), a bunch of guards some honest, some crooked... Written by LorgSkyegon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You're inside now. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oz See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayonne, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (53 episodes) | (season 4 finale) | (season 2 finale)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (1997-1998)| Dolby SR (1999-)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The State flag of New York is shown many times. See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Gloria Nathan (Lauren Velez) talks to Ryan O'Reilly (Dean Winters) about his cancerous tumour in his chest, she says that the lump is "under the left nipple". However, he was clearly bleeding from the right nipple and ever clutching the right one while in the infirmary... See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Ryan O'Reily: Fucking Cyril!
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Shocking HBO Scenes (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

More genius from the creators of "Homicide: Life on the Street"
20 July 2004 | by thensheappearedSee all my reviews

OK, it's violent and bloody and vicious and cruel. It's also wildly creative, beautifully filmed, brilliantly acted (with very few exceptions) and has a great framing device. The stories are both filled with detail and minutiae, and also have overarching moral tales and "big picture" flow. At the end of almost every episode you'll probably find yourself muttering "This is SUCH a good show!"

Although it is ostensibly the story of a prison and its many prisoners, 'Oz' can be viewed as primarily the story of one man, Tobias Beecher. Beecher has committed vehicular manslaughter while driving drunk. Because Beecher is a lawyer, the court decides to make an example of him and sends him to maximum security at Oswald Penitentiary. His journey through Oz is basically the rest of the series, and it's certainly no yellow brick road he follows. Everything that you could imagine happening in a prison setting happens, and probably a lot you wouldn't imagine.

He gets assigned to "Em" City (Emerald City), an experimental unit in Oz; the goal of Em City is to try a different living environment, one that might give the prisoners a chance at changing their lives and possibly rehabilitate them. Managed by a true prison reform zealot, Tim McManus, Em City is for many prisoners the only hope in their lives. The inmates of Em City are some of the most brutal offenders in the entire penitentiary - McManus insists that these are the prisoners to try to reach. McManus also picks newer prisoners, ones that don't have life sentences, to add to the mix and to give them a shot at rehabilitation.

Every episode has a storyteller - most of the time the storyteller is Augustus Hill, shot while killing a cop and now confined to a wheelchair. Because he is unable to be physically brutal anymore, because he is more imprisoned than even his fellow prisoners, Augustus is very insightful and is used to heighten and clarify themes for the audience.

The other inmates in Em City all have their own character development and story arcs - some are impressively vibrant but brief, others last for the whole series - but ultimately the writers always return to Beecher and his story. His friends (few), his enemies (many), his family, and his relationships with the prison staff.

Amid the worst that prison can dish out, the inmates struggle with the meaning of religion, with definitions of family, with the corruption of politics, with friendship, betrayal, and ultimately, survival. There are moments of sheer wanton destruction, unspeakable violence, shocking cruelty, and pure evil. It's prison! There is nothing glorified here; inmates do drugs to escape the horror of their realities, gangs murder each other over trivialities, inmates and guards commit rape just because they can. But how they manage to survive - and IF they manage to survive - keeps you watching.

Some key performances: The always perfect J.K. Simmons as Schillinger, the leader of the Aryans; Chris Meloni as Chris Keller (quite a different part than his character on L&O: SVU!); Lee Tergesen as Beecher; Eamonn Walker as Said, the leader of the Muslims; Dean and Scott Winters (real-life brothers) as Ryan and Cyril O'Reilly; and Kirk Acevedo as Miguel Alvarez, a member of the Latinos. But honestly, the whole cast is excellent. Even most of the "guest starring" roles - new inmates who practically have an expiration date stamped on them - are good, and at least are pretty interesting.

It's coming out on DVD in dribs and drabs - rent it, borrow it, steal it, whatever. But watch it!


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